(ABC NEWS/WTNH) — One popular way to start paying off debt in the new year is to take advantage of introductory credit card offers.
News 8 is stretching your dollar with what to consider before handing over your information.
2020 was a difficult year financially for a lot of families. Couple that with holiday shopping and the debt may be mounting. It makes those introductory credit cards, offering 0% APR to transfer a balance, tempting.
But experts remind you to be certain you are truly paying down your debt if you choose to do that.
“If you move the debt over to this 0% APR card and you’re making good progress, the last thing you want to do is use this old card, that you just paid the balance off, again for purchases you aren’t planning to pay off in the billing cycle because then you’re just doubling your debt,” explained Nate Grant from Credit Card Insider.
Grant suggests if you have time to make improvements to your credit score – a higher score will help you not only get approved for a new card with an introductory offer but you may also get a higher credit limit, allowing you to transfer more debt over.
However he said even being approved for a lower limit, to pay off part of your debt interest-free, may help in the long run.
He also reminds you to choose a card that will benefit you beyond the introductory offer..
“You also want to have a card that you’ll be happy with after that, so looking into the other benefits, like cash back or rewards, if there’s some travel benefits, other things, on the card when you’re shopping around for a balance transfer option, it’s good to keep those other things in the back of your mind so you have more value beyond just the balance transfer option.”
Another tip, any cards you pay off using one of these offers – be sure to keep open even if it doesn’t have a balance. It can positively impact your credit score to have a long-standing account with a good payment history. If you close it, it will no longer be factored into your credit reports.